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Sony shuttering HD center

Sony Pictures Entertainment is
shutting down its High Definition Center on the Culver City, California lot.
The center officially closes in March, eliminating 50 jobs.

The HD center was opened in 1987 by Sony Electronics to support its entry
into the HD production product market and was later absorbed into SPE. It was
used primarily used for product demonstrations, transferring feature films to
HD videotape and post production projects for outside clients.

Sony said it achieved its goal of stimulating the market for its high definition production equipment.

In 1998, the
center was honored with a Technical Emmy award for the its development of a
high-resolution film scanner.

Dr. Robert Hopkins, senior vice president/general manager of the HD
Center, will remain in the Digital Studios Division of SPE to oversee the
transfer to digital videotape of at least 500 film titles a year over the
next three years.

The HD center has already digitally mastered 900 titles and the goal is
to have 2,400 feature film titles, or two-thirds of its library, converted to
digital by 2005. This transfer work will now be outsourced to local post
facilities. - Michael Grotticelli